Monday, October 24, 2011

Suzanne Collins: The Hunger Games

I know, I know, most people who have read my reviews or have requested reviews by me know that I do not read YA books. However, a friend of mine who is even more (for lack of a better word) anti-YA books than me, told me it was a fantastic read, so I borrowed her copy and away I went.

North America is in ruins, and has been divided into 12 districts with the Capitol overseeing all of them. Always making sure that none of the districts prosper too much and to make sure that the districts never forget that the Capitol defeated them all. Each year there is a lottery within each district when one boy and one girl are chosen in order to particpate in the Hunger Games. But these are not regular games, they are fights to the death and with each death of a child the Capitol reinforces their position as leader. This year Katniss Everdeen is heading to the games. She is skilled, has survival skills but has never had to face anything like this before. With Game Masters who move the game in the way they want, Katniss is by herself and will have to use everything she has in order to survive, as well as loose part of her humanity as a person acting with humanity will not survive the Hunger Games

I'm not going to lie, I really enjoyed this story, book and characters. I think that Suzanne Collins has done a great job in writing a book that will appeal to a wider range of audience than just YA audience. The farther the reader gets into the book the more that the characters become less age specific except for in one area (I talk about this farther below). I think that this is where Collins really succeeded in this book as it is what allowed it to be enjoyed by everyone. I also do not think that Collins went too far into the sci-fi/fantasy genre that individuals who do not like that genre would be hesitant to read this book. This book really about the survival of the fittest and is more like a modern Gladiator Games, where the ruler decides who lives and who dies

I enjoyed that Collins was not afraid to let her characters get hurt or experience Pain, both mentally and physically. This caused me to be more invested in the characters and the storyline, and it became that I needed to know who was still alive at the end of each day. I also liked how each district put forward different types of tributes and with each district the tributes excelled at different aspect in survival or killing and how some did not excel at these aspects at all.

I like Katniss as a character. She is smart, resourceful, compassionate and you can start to tell the type of woman that she could be become if she is able to survive the games. The thing I like most about Katniss is her mind and the way that she is able to adapt to each a situation and manipulate it to one that would benefit her the most.However, there are times within the book where she does show her age and does act like a brat, these were not my favorite parts of the book, I enjoyed her more when you could not tell her age or her actions were those that an adult book. But I recognize that this is a YA book and these attributes in her character are to be expected.

*****SPOILER BELOW******

My one criticism is that I did not find that Katniss and Peeta's relationship mature enough for me. I felt their relationship trying at times, and this part of the book was the least enjoyable for me. However, this is from an adults point of view, and how Collins wrote the relationship between Katniss and Peeta fits well within the YA genre. I think this might be the one aspect that may turn adult readers off this book/series as it did not have the "passion" of an adult book. But I will state again this is a YA book, therefore, it was right of Collins to not have an adult type relationship.

I think that Collins has created a book and possible a series (I have not yet read the next two books) that is able to go passed the YA genre and appeal to a more broad audience. I think that if you have been wavering about whether to read this series because it is YA book I think you should pick it up, be nicely surprised.


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